New York Jets: 5 reasons to draft Emmanuel Ogbah
Aug 30, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) tackles Florida State Seminoles running back Mario Pender (7) during the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets need a pass rusher heading into the 2016 NFL Draft as defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah would be exactly what they need for next season.
The Jets exceeded expectations in 2015, if they want to have similar results in 2016, they’re going to need some help on defense. Calvin Pace is expected to retire or move on from the team which leaves Lorenzo Mauldin to assume one of the starting spots at outside linebacker.
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The other spot remains open, for now. Enter Emmanuel Ogbah into the equation. The Jets got the short end of the stick by missing the NFL Playoffs by a hair and getting the worst possible spot in the first round of the teams who were ineligible for the postseason.
It’s an unfortunate reality, but the Jets have to work with what they got and by the time the Jets are on the clock with the 20th overall pick, Ogbah should still be available. Here are the top five reasons to put his name on the draft card in the first round of this year’s draft.
Next: 5. The Jets need his production with sacks
Jan 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) is pressured on a throw by Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) during the second quarter in the 2016 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
5. The Jets need his production with sacks
When evaluating talent at the collegiate level, a lot of variables are carefully considered and a big one is production. Originally by way of Nigeria, Ogbah found a way to translate to the United States and show his raw potential.
Rarely do freshman get to play let alone in every game as a redshirt freshman, he tied for the team lead with four sacks. Ogbah continued to grow from there winning the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year with 17 tackles for loss including 11 sacks. He exceeded those stats as a junior (17.5 tackles for loss, conference-high 13 sacks), earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year this time around.
Arguably the two premiere positions in football today are quarterback and guys who can get after the quarterback. There is a premium placed on these players and Ogbah appears to be one of those kinds of talent.
Ogbah boasts a thick frame standing in at 6’4/270+ pounds and one of his brightest statistics is that he posted a full sack or more in 16 of his last 21 games and finished 2015 with 17.5 tackles for losses. He possesses scheme versatility playing both end positions in college as well as having experience bumping inside and has the ability to play with a hand up or down.
Next: 4. Mike Maccagnan's draft strategy
Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
4. Mike Maccagnan’s draft strategy
The sample size is small for new general manager Mike Maccagnan, but in his first draft he really stuck to best player available, regardless of position. With the 20th overall pick if he sticks to that philosophy it may be hard to pass on Ogbah.
Ultimately the Jets enter this draft with needs along the offensive line, outside linebacker, tight end, quarterback, inside linebacker and cornerback in no particular order. The most pressing needs are at outside linebacker and on the offensive line and most likely that’ll be one of the two areas addressed in the first round.
Thinking a step ahead, the top three or four offensive linemen are projected to be off the board by pick 20. So if the choice ends up being the fifth best offensive linemen or a potential double digit sack guy, it seems the decision should be a lot easier.
If the Jets decided to select Ogbah, they could easily turn around and with their second round draft selection get an end of the first round offensive line talent that drops to them to replace or fill in behind D’Brickashaw Ferguson or Breno Giacomini.
Next: 3. The Ezekiel Ansah syndrome
Nov 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) smiles against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter of a NFL game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
3. The Ezekiel Ansah syndrome
Raw talent with the potential for growth is the simplest way to define the Ezekiel Ansah syndrome. We’ve seen so many NFL franchises take chances on foreign talent who are relatively new to the game.
For example, Jarryd Hayne (former rugby player) signed on with the San Francisco 49ers as their primary punt returner and specialist out of the backfield. Jason Pierre-Paul‘s parents are from Haiti and he got into the game of football late in his high school career.
Sure, the Jets have tried dipping into foreign pools before by kicking the tires of one Hayden Smith at tight end. But the Jets haven’t gambled on a player in the draft with those credentials and certainly never in the first round.
Ogbah is Nigerian by nature and he has so much untapped potential that despite his issues could develop into the next great pass-rusher in the NFL. Ansah got selected with a top-five pick and he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet after a phenomenal 2015 season. The Jets are hoping to hit similar lightning in the bottle later in the first round.
Next: 2. The few concerns to consider
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma State defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
2. The concerns to consider
It’s not all dandelions for Ogbah, there’s a reason that he could be available this late in the first round for the Jets. The first reason is because of the sheer depth of the defensive line in this year’s draft, by far the deepest positional unit.
But the other reason is because as high of production that Ogbah has had, he has shown some limitations in his game. He had his chance to impress against the likes of Ole Miss tackles Laremy Tunsil and Fahn Cooper in the team’s Sugar Bowl loss, but failed to impress or make his mark.
Ogbah won’t wow you with his athleticism, he often shows some stiffness in his hips on tape. He possesses poor or perhaps inconsistent awareness, which could be attributed to his limited time playing the game. Occasionally can be a quick-twitch athlete to react to a play, but lacks the necessary awareness of developing plays.
There is good news and bad news, good news is Ogbah goes one speed. The bad news is that speed is slow. Unable to burn the edges with quickness, he often relies more so on his brute strength and bull rush move. He also possesses an inconsistent work ethic and his motor has been questioned. But as you saw with his gaudy stats, when he wants to turn it on, he can turn it on. The Jets could develop him nicely to take his skill-set to the next level through training and coaching.
Next: 1. Could be missing piece to the big puzzle
Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) defends against Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker John Abraham (55) as quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to pass during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Could be missing piece to the big puzzle
When is the last time the Jets had a dynamic pass rusher that opposing teams had to worry about? John Abraham is the first name that comes to mind and that was over a decade ago believe it or not.
Since then, the Jets have used a combination of older veterans, stop gaps and schemes to try to hide the fact that they couldn’t get after the quarterback outside of the occasional coverage sack. Everyone saw what Von Miller did to the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 and how he changed the game.
Every play you had to account for Miller or pay the consequences and that is what the Jets are currently missing on an otherwise phenomenal defense. Ogbah has the potential to be the missing piece to complete this front seven.
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A player like that could decrease the amount of time the Jets’ defensive secondary would need to cover opposing receivers. It would result in more turnovers as a unit, ergo shorter fields for their offense to work with. Which is something that didn’t happen enough last season.